The Blooming of Wisdom
Recent events in America have again exposed our insecure place in the grand scheme of things. The situation the world faces is fraught with implications and peril, yet within this situation is also the potential to transform the planet in a very positive way. The reason for this rather incredible sentiment is the truth that to defeat these enemies is to address the causes for their presence. We cannot merely bring the armies of Bin Laden and the Taliban to justicethere must be corresponding efforts to remove the impetus for these actions. It must be determined how to correct the conditions that foster the support of terrorism. The fuel for terrorism comes from a populace that is living in a dire state: little or no food, medical care, adequate housing, or access to education, and most importantly, hope. Without addressing these underlying causes, the best we can strive for is to suppress the rights and liberties of these people to the point where they cant protest or terrorize, which is probably not achievable, and certainly not an upholding of the ideals that we hold dear. And we will do all this while in a permanent state of war, and at great risk to our own rights and liberties.
The dichotomy of haves and have-nots in the world is seemingly greater than ever, and the rush of everyday life grows faster and faster. The rate of change we experience in the infancy of this new millennium dwarfs anything experienced by our forbearers: knowledge doubles every two years, and that time frame is shrinking. Change is upon us in spades, whether we want it or notescalating in scope and speedand we must accept and embrace change as a daily event, merely to cope with it. As the rate of change continues to rise exponentially, greater fluidity and wisdom will be needed to meet the challenges ahead. If we are to live successfully in this millennium, we must have access to the truth. We have to know where we stand to accurately chart our future, to anticipate and create the changes we desire.
We stand upon a different world than that of the past. Long-standing cultural paradigms must be re-examined, and determinations made as to whether these paradigms still work, and if they still serve the majority of the people. New paradigms should be drawn up that reflect what we know now, the changes that are going on in the world, and how we wish these changes to guide us. If a world of hope and abundance is what we desire, then the groundwork for that world must be laid now.
Power and Wisdom
It doesnt take a rocket scientist to perceive that pursuit of wisdom takes a back seat in modern culture. The acquisition of material goods, money, and power are usually at odds with the acquisition of wisdom, and the immediacy and allure of power goals usually means this area takes precedence in our planning, both as individuals and societies.
Humans have allowed dysfunction to reign as the arbiter of negotiation. The nature of terrorism is to strike fear into the hearts of the target, while causing as much destruction as possible. While terrorism is seen as a pox upon us, it is not such a strange bird after all: so-called sane human beings have killed well over 100 million of their fellow humans in the past century and have made a good head start on rendering their planet uninhabitable. And yet we cant stop running toward the abyss. To create a world free from fear and extinction, new paradigms must be adopted that offer viable alternatives to our present course.
The reason for emphasizing adaptation to change is this: we must look ahead to constructing solutions, rather than behind us to affixing blame. Granted, perpetrators of all stripes should be brought to justice, but that should not be our focus. Rather, what is not yet right, and how do we fix it? How do we start realizing a vision of Buckminster Fullers Spaceship Earth? That is truly what it is, and we are all on it together. Similarly, a new emphasis must be given to advancing wisdom, and promoting its importance in our everyday lives. How else can we bring those cultures of disparate ideas and influences to the table in an environment of reason, honor and mutual respect?
Joe Firmage, the founder and former President of US Web, has noted that the prosperity and welfare of the 21st Century will be dependent on the ethics of the wealthy. He has observed that government is no longer able or disposed to care for all those less fortunate, and that without participation by those of means, the world will literally fall apart. So it becomes imperative those who are able to assist others do so. Are those who are cloistered so carefully in their gated communities and private clubs willing to do this? How can an impetus be created that fosters these activities? It appears that nothing less than a reordering of planetary priorities is needed to accomplish these ends. However, this reordering must be done by consensus, and without intimidation or coercion. Ultimately, it must benefit everybody.
Models of Reality
Modern ontology regards reality as it pertains to humans as a series of models that we hang our hat on. The model synthesizes what is known at the time it is derived, in the best fashion to incorporate the data into the simplest praxis possible. It is a result of the perception that we cannot know reality; we can only provide interpretationshuman interpretations.
There are many different models, addressing various aspects of our being. The current model of hard reality is one of quantum mechanics, with a few bizarre anomalies. Less than 100 years ago, Newtonian physics ruled the day, and less than 100 years from now, a new physics will serve as our model. Prior to Copernicus, the universe actually revolved around the earth (seriously, just ask anyone who lived then). So it goes with models. The current model leads scientists to conclude that about 98% of the atoms that make up our bodies change out over the course of every year. We are essentially recreated on a daily basis. But we feel the same, so where does the continuity come from? How do the atoms know where to go? Again, the current model postulates a quantum holographic template, a non-local presence that defines and creates our meat bodies. Interestingly, a corresponding quantum template is required for every material object in the universe; or, it is similarly postulated that we may all share a universal, infinitely faceted template.
Yet we dont live in a quantum mechanical world. We cant see or keep track of all those atoms, subatomic particles and quarks zipping around and through us (not to mention dark matter and anti-matter). If physics proves additional dimensions beyond the four we know (the current model postulates ten), will we suddenly be able to perceive them? Will we learn to exist in other states of consciousness as easily as we exist in the current consensus state? Thats a trick question, as we dont exist all that easily in the consensuswar, crime, mental illness and addiction are all signs that something is missing.
Because we live in the world we believe we live in, the physical reality is essentially no more important than the imagined one. The world we visualize is the world that becomes. Despite every tool to increase perception, that perception still takes place within us, and is subject to the limitations and perspectives we impose.
Over the past 25 years, there have been a number of scientific experiments that have demonstrated what sages and mystics have maintained for so longthat there are infinite connections, instantaneous and inexplicable. These connections go far beyond reflected light from an object bouncing off the cones and rods in our eyes, or waves of sound reaching our inner ears. There are various proofs that indicate the existence of faster than light communication between subatomic particles, and that this communication most likely informs macro systems such as the holographic model as well. Bells Theorem states, in essence, that any system once connected stays connected, no matter how far apart it grows. This is also known as the Theory of Non-Locality. If the universe did indeed originate with the Big Bang, growing from a point of singularity, then there is nothing that can escape inclusion from that original system. Determining the nature and essence of non-local communication could well be the most important discovery in the long history of science.
Many scientists are loath to enter into these so-called mystical areas, and insist on a form of materialism to explain everything. Physicist Fred Alan Wolf is a notable exception to this, stating that if we are to advance our understanding of the universe much further, we must advance our understanding of consciousness itself.
From reading Dr. John A. Wheelers 70s work regarding observer influence on subatomic particles, to many of the more contemporary writers on the subject (Wolf, Jack Sarfatti, Michio Kaku, David Bohm, et al) it appears that much of the cutting edge in physics research links internal mental processes to the universe we live inthat mind and matter are somewhat analogous to heads and tailstwo sides of the same coin, and that somewhere therein lies the key to non-locality.
Enlightened Ones, those teachers throughout history who have had such a provocative influence upon us, have long been telling us the same thing: that we are all connected to everything, and it is the self-imposed limits of our perception (or consciousness) that deny us that awareness. These are individuals who have somehow overcome those limitations to experience a direct awareness of the unity of beingan inner knowing of that connection. A crucial question at this time would be Is this awareness available to all of us?
Barbara Marx Hubbard, an eminent futurist, insists that extending our perspective from the ego-self to the essential-self is a necessary extension of modern humanitys growth and evolution. She states that the future of humanity is implicated with the need to recognize the path of evolution, and consciously chart its course. She further notes that evolution as it pertains to humans is explicitly bound up with the expansion of consciousness, that nature itself dictates the need for higher species to act from a deeper center.
Across the breadth of the human experience, numerous states of consciousness are arrived at and cultivated by various cultures: the dreamtime of the aborigines, the nagual of Don Juan, and many, many others. Mystics, shamans and prophets from time immemorial have strived for the Big Daddy of consciousness-cosmic consciousness. This numinous experience has provided life changes to anyone who has experienced it. A select few have learned to access it willfully, and the rest of us yearn to reach it.
The recognition and awareness of the interconnectedness of everything at the deepest level is the foundation of cosmic consciousness. A new respect and veneration of all of life is also at the core. An overwhelming sense of love and serenity, and a certainty of the completeness of the connection also are within this state. It is all-inclusive. An emerging paradigm might affirm that this experience, or something very like it, may be a necessary prelude to species survival.
How can this happen, and what might prevent it? Are there dark forces that would attempt to prevent an advancement of consciousness? Are we fated to remain rooted in the realm of greed and dominance? Society provides a competing mélange of messages, telling us all sorts of different things, and leading us in a bewildering array of directions. Where is the ground beneath our feet, and whom can we trust? What information is vital, and what is mere distraction?
There are many forces that wish to exert an inertial influence on society-preserving the status quo and managing change to further the ends of the few. These forces are inimical to the dynamic changes that might threaten the current paradigms. It can be assumed that those with the most have the most to lose in any radical change, and so the earthly powers are arrayed to thwart any movement outside the proscribed parameters. The rules for behavior and success are clearly delineated, and most know how to play the games.
The control exercised by these groups and institutions is illusory, needing our full cooperation and participation to be effective. Usually, it is freely given and made, as humans are much more comfortable within a plainly defined framework, and just as clearly uncomfortable with radical change. Much of the time we are unaware of these influences, so woven are they into the fabric of everyday life. Where each of us meets is in the consensus state, a mostly agreed-upon region where basic interchange takes place. The parameters of that arenawhat the consensus state allowsdefine the limits of that society. It is this state that needs expansion, to allow the dynamic change and growth needed to provide a viable, exciting future.
A key to understanding how control mechanisms are employed is to recognize that the creative subconscious accepts everything it is told at face value. Even when we know better, there is a tiny part of our memory bank that accepts every message we are exposed to. With constant repetition, these divergent messages build into a tidal wave that can overwhelm and condition us into belief systems that leave us lacking. Competing messages have the effect of rooting us in inertia, unable to act with meaning or self-direction.
Direct awareness of the universal connection is the deepest, most meaningful experience a human being can have. It creates proper perspective for these incessant messages sent out by society, and places the individual in a position to have a much greater understanding of how things work. The advancement to a higher consensus consciousness can be a remarkable (r)evolution, taking place within each individual, eventually reaching a critical mass whereupon the path will be self-evident and the answers abundant.
As each individual experiences growth in plateau stages, it is safe to extrapolate that species behavior functions similarly-that dynamic change is a normal part of evolutionary processes. And as more individuals begin to strive consciously for a more fully informed and expanded awareness, so can we see society beginning to take steps in that direction.
The Seeds of the Wisdom Society
There is a groundswell happening across the faces of society, a grassroots movement that has many different names and aspects. Those participating have called it called the wisdom society, the conscious evolution movement, or simply the maturation of humanity.
In a recent poll, respondents were asked to rate where they thought humans as a species were in their development: infant, toddler, child, adolescent, young adult, etc. Overwhelmingly, respondents chose adolescent as their answer (over 70%). When considered in this light, the preoccupation with vanity, power, violence, and other adolescent type behaviors is not surprising; it is to be expected. Perhaps we stand on the threshold of species adulthood.
The tragic events of September may prove to be the catalyst for many people who have not yet considered the path under discussion. The mores of modern society are inadequate to the task of dealing with the problem of terrorism, and the underlying roots of this and many other social problems. A new context for the experience of life is needed. Creativity, diversity and wisdom must be brought to the forefront, and the unity of being experienced.
There is a secret trump card that we can play to assist us in our development. It is the invocation of the survival instinct. Increasingly, commentators and philosophers note that expanding awareness and wisdom are going to become necessary components to species-and planetary-survival. This is assuredly moving us towards the advent of the wisdom society. Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, if our survival is dependent on these developments, our most basic instinct is already swinging into action.
The reintegration of science and spirituality will play a major role in this developing scenario. As the understanding of the true role of consciousness in and upon reality is unveiled, more scientists will be willing to step into these heretofore-uncharted waters. Similarly, spiritual ventures will have to emerge from the shadows of dogma to embrace truth and reject blind obeisance. The lines between material and spiritual will blur, as we reach the cognition of a truer sense of reality. We are the co-creators of our universe, and it is our destiny to take an active, conscious role in its development. What that role is, and what the outcome will be, are dependent on how effectively and quickly the wisdom perspective becomes integrated into our lives.
©2001 Doug Fulcher
[Bio goes here.] Doug can be reached at dougfulch[AT]charter.net
(replace [AT] with @).